Betting with Confidence: Why Independent Reviews of Online Bookies Matter
The days of relying on word of mouth to learn about a product are long gone. Nowadays, the first place most people turn is the internet. That’s just as true for researching sportsbooks as for anything else you’re interested in.
As we all know, however, the internet can’t always necessarily be trusted. So it has proven with online sportsbook reviews too. Let’s look at the current problem with finding a good bookie, and identify how to get past it.
A Crowded Marketplace
There are not only more sportsbooks than ever before, but the number is growing exponentially. There are believed to be over 2,400 licensed betting operators in the UK alone. Due to the difficulties in calculating this data (since almost all these brands are based off-shore), the actual number may be even higher.
Even the most committed bettor can’t possibly keep up with that many brands. Aside from simply asking your mates who they use, therefore, the only realistic way to find the best bookie for your needs is to head online.
You’re looking for a new bookie, so you head straight to Google and run a search – something like ‘best sportsbook in the UK’. You’ll obviously be greeted by thousands and thousands of results.
Click on a few of those, and you’ll start to notice something. The articles are all incredibly positive, about every brand you mention.
Fair enough – you were searching for reviews of ‘the best’ betting sites in the UK, after all. Try searching for a review of a specific brand, though, and it’s extremely likely you’ll encounter the same thing. Wall-to-wall positivity, with perhaps a minimal criticism or two thrown in for ‘balance’.
All these overly positive ratings actually only increase the difficulty in making a decision. At best, if every single bookie really is a 9/10, then you still haven’t got a clue which one to pick, since they’re all apparently as good as each other.
But is every single bookie really that amazing? Of course not, and that brings us onto the main problem – the lack of independence.
Many of those aforementioned sites have a strong vested interest in getting you to sign up, usually thanks to affiliate marketing connections. Those connections, in themselves, aren’t necessarily a problem. These review sites need to make money, after all, and this is a less intrusive way than giant pop-up adverts.
The problem is that – with many sites – it leads to a complete lack of objectivity. They allow those affiliate links to dominate their writing, and provide completely biased opinions. As such, their reviews are largely useless.
The Best Way to Stay Informed
You’ve got two main ways to overcome this problem.
The first is to only listen to normal members of the betting public. You can find their opinions easily on websites like Reddit and TrustPilot. There are various issues with this approach, however. Most notably, these user reviews – as with many products – will trend negatively. If someone has a pleasant experience with a sportsbook, they’re less likely to post about it than someone who’s had trouble (even if these cases are almost certainly less common).
The second, and ideal approach, is to find a website with reviews written by experts, which are both well-informed and unbiased. This is something you’ll need to evaluate for yourself when visiting a new site. Don’t just read one review – check out several instead. Gauge whether these all seem unrealistically positive, or whether they’re presenting a balanced, completely different view of each brand.
Such websites aren’t easy to come by, so – if you do find one – we’d recommend sticking by it thereafter.